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User Topic: Can't forgive myself...
AchillesHealed
♀ Member
Member # 41805
Default  Posted: 12:33 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had a brief affair three years ago. Since we began reconciliation, my husband has been his usual incredible self--loving, helpful, never an unkind word. We don't really talk about the affair (I follow his lead on that) but I have been completely transparent with regard to my whereabouts and communications (he vetoed the idea of a GPS on my phone, even though I offered, because he "doesn't want to live that way"). I know he's not fully "over it"--and understandably might never be--but for now we're moving forward and things are going well.

Except for my self-loathing. I berate myself every day for what I did. I tell myself I don't deserve him (and I really don't). I get mired in thoughts of what a horrible person I am. I know this is unhealthy and counterproductive, but it's hard to rid myself of these thoughts... any ideas or advice?

(Edited to add: I spent a lot of time in IC, and really got to the root of my issues, but I can't afford to go back again right now. Plus, what can she tell me to do, besides "Stop?" Easier said than done).

(Edited again to add: I see that there's a thread on Wayward dealing with this very topic! I'll start by reading that... )

Anyway, thank you...

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 12:41 PM, April 21st (Monday)]


Posts: 57 | Registered: Dec 2013
brokeback
♀ Member
Member # 41726
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi AchillesHealed,

I'm in the very early stages of this (6 months in after ending A).

I think I've had a recent breakthrough...I'm sure there will be more to come. I also am having a difficult time forgiving myself. My wife has forgiven me and I really do believe her. She's loving and kind and affectionate and really seems happy that we are working on our marriage - as am I.

I've come to realize that my thinking right now that I don't deserve her is not a new thought for me. I know for sure that I never really believed I was good enough for her. I didn't realize this until I shared this with her recently. How sad that I've been with this woman for 18 years and I'm just now realizing through a hideous affair that I never believed I was good enough for her or deserved to be loved by someone so wonderful.

Maybe you do deserve him. In fact, I'm sure you do. If he is willing to stay with you and love you through it, shouldn't you?

I am taking my own advice here. We need to love ourselves first before others can really love us or before we let anyone really love us.

Be kind and loving to yourself. I have to constantly remind myself to treat myself like I would my best friend. What would I tell my best friend if she were in this situation? I wouldn't tell her she was a POS. I would tell her to let go of what no longer serves her good. I would tell her she's worthy of love and forgiveness. I would tell her to do her best everyday moving forward and that she can't change what she did, but she can make each new day better. Start today as a new day.

What advice would you tell your best friend?


ME 43
BS 38
1 Child 3 years old
Married 18 years
DDay - 10/2013. EA 9 months. PA 4 months. Ended the affair 11/2014



Posts: 69 | Registered: Dec 2013
MissesJai
♀ Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I started that thread....I'm very much interested to see where people are in their individual journeys.
I spent a lot of time in IC, and really got to the root of my issues, but I can't afford to go back again right now. Plus, what can she tell me to do, besides "Stop?"
You're oversimplifying the work you did in IC. Do you really think that's all your IC would say? Stop? A good IC would help you dig and figure out why you do what you as well as how you can stop. You said you spent a lot of time in IC and got to the root of your issues. So, what's the root of your issues? I'm sure you didn't just start these behaviors. They've likely been with you since childhood. Did you, in IC, come up with any strategies to combat your self-destructive thoughts?


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
AchillesHealed
♀ Member
Member # 41805
Default  Posted: 1:40 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks to both of you for your replies. Brokeback, I completely relate--I think deep down I never believed I deserved him. We've even joked about it through the years, in terms of his being "stable/responsible" and my being a general messy ball of chaos, but his final line on that was always that he'd be incredibly bored without me. Maybe now he'd take boredom over betrayal? I don't know... And you're right, I would tell my best friend to forgive herself and point out her good qualities. I should try to focus on who I've become since I ended the affair.

Misses, I did a lot of hard work in IC, and yes, most of it dealt with childhood issues. For one thing, my father has always been extremely inappropriate with me, beginning at a very young age, and I have cut off all contact with him--an act I felt I needed to take in order to rid myself of "faulty" hard-wiring, for lack of a better description. I actually wrote him a letter detailing all of his offenses, which was hugely cathartic and healthy for me.

At the same time, I realized (and I know this sounds horrible) that a part of me resented my husband because nothing really bad ever happened to him (until my affair). So in the early days after D Day, I would find myself thinking, "How lucky you are that you grew up in such a loving and safe environment; how nice it must be to have nothing dark lurking inside you; how privileged you are to have no broken pieces." I never said anything like that to him, but I did think it--which only eventually made me feel worse. The upside of all of that therapy was that I now know enough--about both myself and my marriage--that I'll never betray it again.

As for keeping the thoughts at bay, the only things I can do are to continue being honest and transparent. One day at a time, I guess, but it's been more than two years since D Day and I thought (hoped) I might feel better about myself by now...

Thanks again.

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 2:47 PM, April 21st (Monday)]


Posts: 57 | Registered: Dec 2013
MissesJai
♀ Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

but it's been more than two years since D Day and I thought (hoped) I might feel better about myself by now...
What have you done in those 2 years to work on your opinion of yourself?

[This message edited by MissesJai at 2:54 PM, April 21st (Monday)]


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
AchillesHealed
♀ Member
Member # 41805
Default  Posted: 3:33 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What have you done in those 2 years to work on your opinion of yourself?

Well, I've taken actions to change myself, but somehow that doesn't automatically equate to changing my opinion of myself. Short of staring into a mirror, Stuart Smalley-style (showing my age!) and repeating that I'm "good enough," I don't know quite what to do.


Posts: 57 | Registered: Dec 2013
MissesJai
♀ Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 4:21 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've taken actions to change myself, but somehow that doesn't automatically equate to changing my opinion of myself
That's because you're not comfortable accepting and embracing your own progress and growth. You see it, hell maybe you even feel it but you are choosing not to fully own it and live in it.
repeating that I'm "good enough," I don't know quite what to do.
I don't see anything wrong with daily, verbal affirmations that are meant for YOU and only you. They key is to STAY PRESENT. If you continually go back there, it's impossible to move forward.


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
Unagie
♀ Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 5:03 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am with you and if you look at my start date you'll see my journey has been going on for 1.5 yrs thus far. I suppose I have forgiven myself on some things, not so much on others. There are some days I still blame myself for his affairs. There are days I remember his words and it cuts me so deep to know I put that pain in him. I got stuck today on the lead up the night my A went physical. I touched AP on the leg and back. I flirted and laughed because my ego was being fed and kept thinking I can handle this. I won't let it get physical I have stopped it from going physical and it won't. It did...and I have had a hell of a time wrestling with that, with the fact that I let it happen. XSO told me at one point that I got played and taken advantage and I disagreed. I told him he didn't rape me, I was willing. He still says I got played, he saw an easy mark because of my depression and need for validation and honed in on it. So I was a mark, but I was a willing mark. Forgiveness is hard. I've had an easier time forgiving him then myself and he's not remorseful. Hes not cruel or evil but he'll never see his actions as bad because he feels mines were worse.

Take small steps. Dont try to forgive it all as one big act. Take each act building up to it and deal with it. Focus on each one at a time and slowly but surely you'll get there.

T/J missesjai I am not, not forgiving myself. I seem to have hit an impasse where my self worth is not all that high. I work on myself but find it difficult to like me. Part of me is what I did and I dont like that part. Actually I hate that part. Its hard to like yourself and forgive when you partially hate yourself.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.

Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.


Posts: 2701 | Registered: Oct 2012
AchillesHealed
♀ Member
Member # 41805
Default  Posted: 7:57 AM, April 22nd (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Misses and Unagie, thanks so much--I thought about this all night, especially the advice to stay in the present, and feel a bit better today (I've been practicing "staying in the present" through yoga, but never thought to apply it to this situation!). Hopefully I'll be able to build on this a day at a time.

Unagie--advice for both of us: We are more than the sum of our past mistakes.


Posts: 57 | Registered: Dec 2013
Topic Posts: 9

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